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GOP official who claimed 2020 election was stolen voted illegally 9 times, judge rules

A Georgia Republican official who pushed false claims that the 2020 election was “stolen” was found to have voted illegally nine times, a judge ruled this week.

Brian Pritchard, first vice chairman of the Georgia Republican Party, was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine, as well as investigative costs, and be publicly reprimanded.

Pritchard had been sentenced in 1996 in Pennsylvania to three years’ probation for felony check forgery charges. His probation was revoked three times — once in 1999, after he moved to Georgia, and again in 2002 and 2004. In 2004, a judge imposed a new seven-year probationary sentence on Pritchard, thus making him ineligible to vote until at least 2011 in Georgia, where state law prohibits felons from voting.

Despite that, court documents showed that Pritchard signed voter registration forms in 2008 in which he affirmed that he was “not serving a sentence for having been convicted of a felony involving moral turpitude.” He then cast ballots in four Georgia primary and general elections in 2008, as well as five special, primary and general elections in 2010.

According to court documents, Pritchard testified that he thought his felony sentence had ended in 1999.

“Do you think the first time I voted, I said, ‘Oh, I got away with it. Let’s do it eight more times?’ ” Pritchard said, as reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Representatives for the Georgia GOP and for Pritchard’s attorney did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Pritchard is a conservative talk show host and the owner of fetchyournews.com, which he has described as a conservative political news site. He also ran unsuccessfully in a special election for a Georgia state House seat last year.

In a 2022 story for his website, Pritchard railed against those who had alleged he had voted illegally, accusing them in turn of trying to “manipulate an election.” He also maintained he had done nothing wrong.

“Yes, for those who think a person charged with a felony can’t vote, wrong. First, in the state of Pennsylvania the only time you lose your voting rights is if you are incarcerated,” Pritchard wrote. “Considering I have never spent a night in jail in my entire life …(can everyone say that) I never lost my voting rights in PA. Once your sentence has expired you can vote in the state of Georgia. Yes it’s true!”

Pritchard has also touted former president Donald Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was “stolen” from him. In a 2022 episode of his talk show, Pritchard criticized the “corrupt media” and Georgia election officials for being “complicit” in what he called stealing the election.

“I do not believe 81 million people voted for this guy,” Pritchard said, referring to Joe Biden.

In a questionnaire he filled out while running for first vice chairman of the Georgia GOP last year, Pritchard said he hoped to “leverage the influence of the grassroots conservative movement to improve election integrity.”

This post appeared first on The Washington Post

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